From our perch here in Calumpang, we witness the fuzz and the hoopla that the most local of local elections brings, and everybody seems agog with the coming Barangay and Sangguniang Kabataan elections (BSKE) on October 30, a non-working holiday.
Those interested in joining the barangay fray should be reminded that barangay officials are the face of the national government at the grassroots level.
People look up to barangay officials for everyday public services -- from an annoying dog barking at night to disputes between apartment owners and tenants, to marital infidelity and other human foibles.
These local officials also are mandated to implement and uphold the law at all times, whether national laws or local ordinances.
Thus, the people aspiring for positions in the BSKE should be the epitome of patriotism, uprightness and justice since they will need these qualities in their day-to-day engagement with their neighbors once elected.
The official campaign period is under way and candidates are expected to abide by all the rules and regulations laid down by the Commission on Elections (Comelec) for the smooth and peaceful conduct of this democratic exercise.
They who aspire to be implementers of the law should themselves follow regulations to the letter.
We note that in an urgent memorandum, the poll body warned anew against wrong-sized campaign materials including billboards, tarpaulins, and individual posters exceeding two by three feet in common poster areas.
"In case there are unlawful campaign materials posted on public and private properties, the Election Officer (EO) shall send a notice to remove; and a show cause order to the concerned candidates," the memorandum read.
Comelec Chairman George Erwin Garcia stressed that the BSK bets shall be the ones liable once election officers find unlawful campaign materials in common poster areas, public, and even private places. This means candidates will have to request private property owners violating the rules to follow them.
The nationwide Operation Baklas (removal of illegal campaign materials), meanwhile will be conducted from Oct. 20 to 27. Also prohibited under the presumption of vote buying is the distribution of food or drinks to supporters during campaign sorties.
"Giving of T-shirts, ballers, bags, sun visors, hats/caps, umbrellas, handkerchiefs, ball pens, fans, candies and others of value is strictly prohibited, including giving of food and drinks during and after a meeting or campaign sortie," the memorandum added. The BSKE bets must also limit their campaign expenditure to five pesos per voter.
We hope that the BSKE will be as peaceful and orderly as expected by the poll body.
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